How do you persuade?

 July 7, 2015

Back to the basics: Health Care Marketing Revisited

How do you persuade?

No matter the message contained in a marketing communications campaign, you must bring the audience around to your point of view if you are to be effective. More often than not, this must occur on two levels: you must convince, and you must persuade.

While similar, these two actions are also different.

Convincing someone is largely a matter of logic and rational thinking—you have the facts and figures to support your argument, and you communicate them in a manner beneficial to the prospect. And, if you’ve communicated effectively, they get the point.

Persuasion, on the other hand, is emotional. And, on occasion, completely irrational and without logical support. But, through tone and manner, appearance and attitude, you let prospects know you’re on their side, you have their best interests at heart, you’re understanding and empathetic. And that by doing business with you, they’ll somehow be better off than if they do business elsewhere, or not at all.

Persuasion isn’t the sort of thing that can be weighted or counted or measured. It’s a mostly intangible characteristic that comes with experience and experimentation. It’s why some people can sell iceboxes in the arctic and others couldn’t sell water to someone dying of thirst.

People in business tend to want predictability. ROI has become a buzz-acronym that rules many. Unfortunately, persuasion doesn’t dance to that tune. To be effective in marketing communications, sometimes you must be convinced to spend some money, and persuaded that it will pay off.

Next time: What do you expect?

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